Andrey Sushentsov
Dmitriy Ofitserov-Belskiy
This was a week that saw a number of important developments related to the Syrian crisis. On Oct. 20 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Moscow aboard a Russian plane for an unannounced visit with the Kremlin leadership, and on Oct. 23, Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry met for talks in Vienna. Against the backdrop of these events, analysts and journalists carefully monitored President Vladimir Putin’s speech at the annual Valdai Forum.
ПРЕМИУМ
24 october 2015 | 22:00

The most important Russian foreign policy events of the week (18-24 October)

This was a week that saw a number of important developments related to the Syrian crisis. On Oct. 20 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Moscow aboard a Russian plane for an unannounced visit with the Kremlin leadership, and on Oct. 23, Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry met for talks in Vienna. Against the backdrop of these events, analysts and journalists carefully monitored President Vladimir Putin’s speech at the annual Valdai Forum.

The arrival of Assad in Moscow

The visit to Moscow was the Syrian leader’s first trip abroad since 2011. Assad’s meeting with Vladimir Putin confirmed that Russia still considers him to be a key figure in resolving the crisis. Moreover, it was revealed during a meeting of the Valdai Club in Sochi that Damascus is ready to collaborate with the armed Syrian opposition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Greater Syria (ISIS).

In Moscow, the two presidents discussed military cooperation and future talks on a peaceful settlement. Immediately afterwards, Putin telephoned the leaders of the other Middle Eastern countries involved in the Syrian conflict — the kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and the presidents of Turkey and Egypt. Judging by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s unconcealed irritation, not all issues produced mutual understanding.

The meeting of Lavrov and Kerry in Vienna

On Oct. 23 Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry met for talks in Vienna, followed by consultations with the foreign ministers of the Persian Gulf countries and Turkey on the crisis in Syria. Russia insists on joint action to combat ISIS. However, the Gulf Arab countries are fearful of rising Iranian influence in the region, and alongside the United States, continue to push for the overthrow of Assad as the main objective of the coalition. Russia’s proposals to involve Iran in the negotiations were rejected.

Two days earlier, the United States and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding to avoid clashes in the Syrian sky. It seeks to establish operational communications between the two countries’ military commands and mutual assistance in crisis situations. 

 

Continue reading at Russia Direct

READ MORE ON THE TOPIC «Politics»

16 november 2015 | 21:00

The most important Russian foreign policy events of the past week (9-16 November)

Heading into the weekend, the leaders and diplomats of the twenty countries with the biggest economies were busy preparing for the G20 Summit, which is taking place in Antalya, Turkey. There are many issues on this year’s agenda – from problems in the world economy and finance to refugee issues, the fight against terrorism and resolving the Syrian crisis. However, in light of the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks , the issue of fighting terrorism and, in particular, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has dominated the agenda of the G20 Summit.

30 june 2015 | 21:00

War, dialogue, and reconciliation: Russia and the world in 2020

Alarming Contours of the Future: Russia and the World in 2020 is a new book that presents future scenarios for the development of international relations and Russia’s role in the world through 2020, while simultaneously describing major global challenges. The authors of the book—Andrey Sushentsov, a Russian expert who specializes in American studies, from Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), and his colleague Andrey Bezrukov, who also works for Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company—spoke with Russia Direct to discuss their book and current and future conflicts facing Russia and the world.

9 october 2014 | 23:00

Looking behind the Russia-Iran relationship

Russian-Iranian relations have a much longer history and in many ways a more nuanced agenda. But if one would coin a concise definition for their current dealings, it could easily be "compelled adversaries, pragmatic pals."

18 march 2015 | 08:00

One year after the Crimean incident the world has changed

Events that have principle importance to world development are rare in the course of history. The Crimean Spring is undoubtedly one of these. It has triggered a sequence of processes, whose outcome is yet to manifest itself. However, they are already changing the international landscape of the 21st century.     

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